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MEETING NOTES: June 19, 2021 Arise Coffee, Hanceville, AL
In attendance:
Chris Litteral
Mike Conner
James “Ghost” Johnson
Kris Cook
Rodney Green
Shane Coker
Ira “Cowboy” Jones
Brenda Matney
Justin Matney
Matthew Schroeder
Stephanie Moore
Mike Wilson
Wayne “Wolf” Littrell
Blythe Joslin
Katie Holm hosted the Zoom meeting. Andrew Holm attended remotely.
Kris passed out notes from the last meeting and a treasurer’s report. No exceptions were noted. Cowboy moved to approve, Ghost seconded, motion approved. The above documents are now on record.
This meeting was recorded on a Zoom call for later access by link.
Matthew and Shane announced the Dixie ABATE Noccalula Falls Chapter State Park Challenge. The person who turns in pictures of their bike with the challenge poster at the most state parks between now and the December state meeting, wins a $200.00 cash prize. $300.00 if a lifetime member. Alabama has 21 state parks. State parks in any other state count equally. You will notice the payout has increased in both categories by $100.00. Get out there and ride!
Chris thanked everyone who made phone calls to their legislator to discourage the reflective helmet bill. He mentioned Chris Best, “Biker Dad”, for what a great influence he is in the motorcycling world. He is a great asset to us.
We talked about H.R. 2141, the Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act. Text below:
117th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. R. 2141
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a Motorcyclist Advisory Council, and for other purposes.
March 23, 2021
Mr. Gallagher (for himself, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Moore of Wisconsin, Mr. Young, Ms. Brownley, Mr. Balderson, and Mr. Pappas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a Motorcyclist Advisory Council, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the “Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act”.
SEC. 2. Motorcyclist Advisory Council.
(a) Establishment.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a Motorcyclist Advisory Council (in this section referred to as the “Council”).
(b) Duties.—
(1) ADVISING.—The Council shall advise the Secretary, the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration on transportation issues of concern to motorcyclists, including—
(A) barrier design;
(B) road design, construction, and maintenance practices; and
(C) the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.
(A) IN GENERAL.—The Council shall submit a report to the Secretary containing the Council’s recommendations on the issues described in paragraph (1).
(B) TIMING.—Not later than October 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the Council is established, and by every 2nd October 31 thereafter, the Council shall submit the report described in subparagraph (A).
(c) Membership.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Council shall be comprised of 13 members appointed by the Secretary as follows:
(A) Five experts from State or local government on highway engineering issues, including—
(i) barrier design;
(ii) road design, construction, and maintenance; or
(iii) intelligent transportation systems.
(B) One State or local traffic and safety engineer, design engineer, or other transportation department official who is a motorcyclist.
(C) One representative from a national association of State transportation officials.
(D) One representative from a national motorcyclist association.
(E) One representative from a national motorcyclist foundation.
(F) One representative from a national motorcycle manufacturing association.
(G) One representative from a motorcycle manufacturing company headquartered in the United States.
(H) One roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis.
(I) One member of a national safety organization that represents the traffic safety systems industry.
(A) TERM.—Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), each member shall serve one term of 2 years.
(B) ADDITIONAL TERMS.—If a successor is not designated for a member before the expiration of the term the member is serving, the member may serve another term.
(C) APPOINTMENT OF REPLACEMENTS.—If a member resigns before serving a full 2-year term, the Secretary may appoint a replacement for such member to serve the remaining portion such term. A member may continue to serve after resignation until a successor has been appointed. A vacancy in the Council shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
(3) COMPENSATION.—Members shall serve without compensation.
(d) Termination.—The Council shall terminate 6 years after the date of its establishment.
SEC. 3. Duties of the Secretary.
(a) Accept or reject recommendation.—
(1) DETERMINATION.—The Secretary shall determine whether to accept or reject a recommendation contained in a Council report.
(2) TIMING.—
(A) ACCEPT OR REJECT.—The Secretary shall indicate in each report submitted under this section the Secretary’s acceptance or rejection of each recommendation listed in such report.
(B) UNDER CONSIDERATION.—The Secretary may state in a report submitted under this section that a recommendation is under consideration. If the Secretary so states, the Secretary shall accept or reject the recommendation in the next report submitted under this section.
(b) Report.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the Secretary receives a Council report, the Secretary shall submit a report to the following:
(A) The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.
(B) The Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate.
(C) The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
(D) The Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
(E) The Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.
(2) CONTENTS.—A report submitted under this subsection shall include—
(A) a list containing—
(i) each recommendation contained in the Council report described in paragraph (1); and
(ii) each recommendation stated as under consideration in the previous report submitted under this subsection; and
(B) for each such recommendation, whether it is accepted, rejected, or under consideration by the Secretary.
(c) Administrative and technical support.—The Secretary shall provide such administrative support, staff, and technical assistance to the Council as the Secretary determines to be necessary for the Council to carry out its duties.
SEC. 4. Definitions.
In this Act, the following definitions apply:
(1) COUNCIL REPORT.—The term “Council report” means the report described in section 2(b)(2).
(2) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Transportation.
Next, the MRF’s position on this bill:
Motorcycle Riders Foundation P.O. Box 250, Highland, IL 62249 (202) 546-0983 / / MOTORCYCLIST ADVISORY COUNCIL REAUTHORIZATION ACT: H.R. 2141 Background: The Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration concerning infrastructure issues related to motorcyclist safety including barrier design; road design, construction, and maintenance practices; and the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies. Representative Mike Gallagher (WI) has introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the MAC after its current term expires in 2021. MRF Position: The MAC provides the U.S. Department of Transportation expert first-hand knowledge of motorcycle issues. The MAC serves as the only official forum for the motorcycle community to have an open dialogue with the federal government to discuss concerns with infrastructure design, issues with automated vehicles, and other areas of safety affecting motorcyclists on the road. It is important to have road designers, engineers and stakeholders convene and review best practices to prevent tragic accidents and make motorcycling safer for everyone. Motorcyclists deserve a seat at the table when issues impacting them are being discussed.
Request: Cosponsor H.R. 2141 and support efforts to include preservation of the MAC in the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization bill.
Blythe would like to clean up the old documents on our website. Kris knows it needs to be done and will try to take a look at it ASAP.
Andrew mentioned our Facebook page – we need to basically leave his posts up and not post much else. We need to post a link when possible, when Chris goes on broadcast TV.
Matt told everyone the bad news about our life member Matt “Doc” D’Errico, who was injured in a crash and did not survive. Kris posted it in the Facebook group.
We discussed H.R. 3684, introduced in the House (06/04/2021)
Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act or the INVEST in America Act
This bill addresses provisions related to federal-aid highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier, research, hazardous materials, and rail programs of the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Among other provisions, the bill:
• extends FY2021 enacted levels through FY2022 for federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs;
• reauthorizes for FY2023-FY2026 several surface transportation programs, including the federal-aid highway program, transit programs, highway safety, motor carrier safety, and rail programs;
• addresses climate change, including strategies to reduce the climate change impacts of the surface transportation system and a vulnerability assessment to identify opportunities to enhance the resilience of the surface transportation system and ensure the efficient use of federal resources;
• revises Buy America procurement requirements for highways, mass transit, and rail;
• establishes a rebuild rural bridges program to improve the safety and state of good repair of bridges in rural communities.
• implements new safety requirements across all transportation modes; and
• directs DOT to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and achieve and maintain a state of good repair in the surface transportation system.
The text is too long to reproduce here. This bill has been placed in the Senate calendar as of 7/13/21.
We talked about the quickly-approaching Meeting of the Minds in Atlanta, the weekend of September 23-26. All ABATE members should attend this convention.
We discussed our billboards, variable message signs in the state, and how the AMA is on board with red light bills, which might be good for us when we decide to bring our Safe on Red bill again. Shane discussed how we brought a “Dead Red” bill a couple of times in past years and got shot down in Montgomery.
Cowboy would like us to get metal Life Member cards for life members. We took it under advisement and will probably do it. KC moved we look into it, Shane seconded. Also looking into challenge coins.
Mike discussed our logo and wanted us to return to the standard ABATE logo that many states still have. Matt said he thought it was copyrighted so that we can’t use it. A woman who is now deceased started an ABATE of Alabama organization and her son now holds the trademark, according to Matt. Mike also wants us to be A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments instead of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education. Kris likes the Long Island ABATE name of American Bikers for Awareness, Training & Education. We tabled the question of changing our name. This will have to be changed by a majority vote of the full membership. Or we could just create another DBA name and not formally change anything.
Andrew reminded us that our name is socially acceptable the way it is. We are a non-profit whose voices need to be as one. The education aspect is tantamount. We educate our lawmakers, we educate riders, and we educate drivers. We have one voice collectively. We have to be about training and education, to garner any support from the public at large. It looks good on us that we are working toward a skills test.
Kris commented she needs to get renewal notices out to expired members.
We had a long discussion about how much control the state organization should have over the chapters’ activities. Kris thinks supervision should be very minimal. Cowboy said the state should approve everything the chapter does, and the state should have insurance for all activities. At this point, Dixie ABATE has no insurance of any kind. Mike prefers a dues split but the chapter does its own fund raising. Mike and Chris thought it would be a good idea if a member had to join at the state level before joining a chapter. Kris thinks that shouldn’t be necessary. Cowboy said if you join a chapter you are automatically a member at the state level in Florida, where he is from. Each chapter sends two delegates to state meetings. Mike said you should be able to belong to as many chapters as you want, but only vote in one.
Matt moved to table the matter, and Andrew seconded. We will ask at the MOTM how other ABATES are structured.
Our next meeting is our summer retreat, at The Secret Bed & Breakfast, 2356 AL-68, Leesburg, AL. The phone number is 256-523-3825. 2 PM, Saturday, August 21, 2021.